There are few things in the world that are quite as exciting as setting out on a boating adventure. A boating trip gives you the opportunity to immerse yourself in tranquil natural surroundings and acquire the relaxation that is needed in order for you to be actively engaged in both your professional and personal life. While a boating cruise or trip can indeed be quite thrilling, it is necessary to take a number of precautions in order to ensure that you don’t come to any harm when you set sail out into the waters. To know more about the best boating safety tips and precautions, read on.
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How To Enjoy Boating Safely
Attend A Boating Course
One of the most tried and trusted ways by which you can get to enjoy an outdoor activity like boating safely is to sign up for a boating course. Both experts and beginners need to be aware of important boating rules and regulations adhering to which can prevent you from running into accidents on the high waters. Boating safety courses can be availed online and are usually certified. By choosing to be a part of a boating course, you allow yourself to be educated on a wide array of boating matters and prepare yourself for any kind of circumstance that may arise in the course of your boating trip.
Wear A Life Jacket & Learn Survival Skills
You can enjoy boating quite safely when you wear a life jacket. Most fatalities that occur during boating trips are those that are caused by drowning. All people on board a boat, especially children ought to wear a life jacket as this is guaranteed to give the best possible protection by keeping them afloat should they topple over and fall into the water. Boating is also something that you could take part in very safely if you learned some essential survival skills. Take swimming lessons if swimming is not something you are familiar with and if traveling on a boat with children, make sure that they know how to swim too. Additionally, you should avoid leaving children unsupervised during a boating trip.
Boating Safety Tips
Check The Flares In The Boating Vessel
An important tip that you ought to take into consideration when you set out on a boating cruise, is to check the flares on the vessel. The expiration dates for both the meteor and handheld flares have to be checked and you must get them replaced immediately should they be likely to expire soon.
Make Sure The Horn Functions Properly
You should ensure that you have a well-functioning sound producing device on board that is approved by the Coast Guard. The boat batteries in your flashlight have to be repaired if they are not working well enough and spare batteries should be bought and kept on the boat should these be urgently required. If the flashlight you use features rechargeable batteries, you must recharge them for a considerable number of hours prior to embarking on your boating adventure.
Inspect Ground Tackle
You need to make sure to inspect ground tackle when you decide to go boating. Elements like shackles, chains or lines which show excessive wear and tear or have a corrosive appearance must be replaced. Navigation lights must also be switched on and off to ensure that these function well enough. Also, its important that you get the right lights for your boat deck too.
Get The Bilge Pump Tested
If you desire going out on a boating trip and wish to be as safe as possible then test the bilge pump before you set sail. Examine the float that is situated on the automatic bilge pump in order to ensure that this turns the pump on when lifted. You also need to check the connectors and wiring to verify if these are free from corrosion.
Carry Fire Extinguishers
It is imperative to carry fire extinguishers with you when you set sail. A well-known boating safety tip to consider therefore would be to evaluate the pressure gauges of the fire extinguishers in your boat and ensure these read in the full green zone. Should any of these fire extinguishers happen to have been discharged partially, you should not hesitate to get yourself new ones in their place. Ideally, the fire extinguishers that you use on board should be Coast Guard approved with the fire extinguisher brackets holding these securely.
Be Aware of Weather Conditions
Being weather wise is something that is certainly necessary if you want to be safe and secure while on a boating trip. Check local weather conditions on the television or the marine radio prior to your departure and if you notice rough sailing winds or darkening clouds in the sky, just play safe and postpone your boating trip for another day. Also, use a Boat Striping Tape for harsh weather conditions.
Draw Up An Itinerary
You should have an itinerary in mind before you decide to go boating and share this itinerary with a person who is not going to be a part of the trip. By telling this person where exactly you are going and when it is that you expect to return, you can have this person direct assistance to the correct place, should you fail to make it back home in time.
Avoid Drinking On Board
Avoiding alcohol is absolutely necessary if you decide to go sailing. You need to remember that alcohol is capable of dehydrating your body very quickly, especially when you are exposed to the hot rays of the sun. Make sure to drink as much water as you can and avoid diving or swimming in an inebriated state.
Try Not To Dive Into The Water
Diving, in particular, is something that you really need to avoid if you want to keep yourself safe during a boating adventure. You have to remember that diving can be highly injurious for health and there are unseen objects like hard rocks, vegetation, etc that you might hit your body against if you take a dive rather than opting for a gentle swim.
Be Familiar With Your Environment
Being familiar with the environment is also necessary for a safe boating trip. For instance, you should be aware of the fact too much exposure to cold water can lead to conditions like unconsciousness or hypothermia, so if you have been in the water for more than fifteen minutes, you should know that it is now time to get out.
Opt For A Vessel Safety Check
One of the best ways by which you can make sure that you have a safe boating trip is to get your entire vessel checked very thoroughly before you set sail. Make sure that you carry all the safety equipment that is required according to state regulations and opt for some virtual online checks as well to ensure safety.
Check The PLB & EPIRB Devices
The PLB’s and EPIRB’s, in particular, need to be checked if you are looking to go out sailing any time soon. These require re-registration every two years. You must also make it a point to find out if the batteries contained in the EPIRB’s and the PLB’s require being replaced. Run a test procedure to ensure that these devices run in a smooth and efficient manner and not cause you any trouble when on board.
Know The Difference Between Deep & Shallow Water To Avoid Accidents
Learning to distinguish between shallow water and deep water is one of the most effective ways by which you can keep yourself safe during a boating trip. Shallow water is often smooth while the surrounding depths are characterized by ripples. By knowing how to make a distinction between deep and shallow water you can prevent running your boating vessel onto the hard ground or sharp objects that can otherwise penetrate it and cause it to sink.
Get To Know How Mayday Calls Are Made
An important thing that you need to make sure you know before you set sail is how to use the microphone in your vessel to make a mayday call should you run into difficulties while out in the water. While this is something that you may be taught as a part of any boating safety course, you need to acquire some additional guidance on how to carry out may-day communication in order to prevent any disaster from occurring to you and to other inmates on the boat if the boat faces difficulties when on water.
Examine The Life Jackets With Care
Ensure that the life jackets which you carry with you on your boating trip are new and not old and worn out. You need these to serve you well if a mishap does occur in the course of your boating cruise. If your life jackets show signs of wear and tear, you need to throw these away immediately and get yourself some new ones. In case you use inflatable life jackets, inspect their C02 cartridges after removal and if these seem used and damaged to you, just do away with them and buy some new CO2 cartridges instead.
Boating Mistakes To Avoid
Keep The Boating Vessel From Being Overloaded
There are numerous mistakes that you could avoid when you decide to go boating, the most important one being to keep the boating vessel from becoming overloaded. All boating vessels are certain to have a capacity limit that is usually dictated by weight limit or by the number of passengers that the boat can hold when out in the water. You should know what the boat’s capacity is if you want to manage yourself and all other people on board safely.
Always Make sure To Plug The Boat In Prior To Setting Sail
Another mistake that is commonly made when setting out on sail in a boat is to forget about plugging in the vessel prior to sailing. You need to avoid assuming that the boat plug is in its place and carry out a double check if necessary to make sure of this. A good way to avoid forgetting a matter as crucial as plugging in your boat is to keep the plug located in a place that is quite obvious such as tying it to the steering wheel of the boat, when you take it out so that you cannot ignore it when the time comes to insert it in once again.
Avoid Boating Under Influence
To be intoxicated while steering a boat on the water is an act that can prove to be extremely dangerous. You need to avoid this strictly if you want to keep yourself and your all fellow passengers safe when you are out on a boating trip. You might also draw the attention of the Coast Guard and get yourself penalized if you are found to be boating under influence.
Vessel Should Be Coast Guard Approved
You need to ensure that the vessel which you take out onto the water is one that is approved fully by the Coast Guard. Using a boating vessel that is not Coast Guard approved can not only be very unsafe but can also invite legal action.
Try Not To Spill Fuel
You need to watch out and check for defective nozzles in your vessel if any as these could result in a lot of fuel getting spilled while you take your boat out onto the water. This can prove to be quite frustrating and you don’t want your boat to be out of fuel when in the middle of the river, lake or ocean.
[Boating Safety Infographic]
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Boating can be a delightful experience and is often considered as one of the best ways to relax and unwind provided you know how to keep yourself safe when you are out on the water. By paying heed to important boating safety tips you can take sufficient precaution while embarking on a boating adventure and have the time of your life out in the cool waters with friends and family members who decide to accompany you.